Characteristics of Color Discrimination Charges Filed with the EEOC

  • Joni Hersch


Using detailed employment discrimination charge data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), this chapter provides unique information on the number of charges of color discrimination, the bases of the charges, the characteristics of individuals filing charges, and characteristics of the workplace. Claims of employment discrimination on the basis of color have been rising, from 1,424 in fiscal year (FY) 2000 to 3,063 in FY 2009. Although many color discrimination claims are combined with race discrimination charges, 16% of color charges do not also include race as a basis. Color discrimination charges are filed by individuals of all races. Among color charges that do not include race as a basis, 15% are reported by Whites and 17% are reported by Asians. Color claims disproportionately include national origin and religion as additional bases.


Color Discrimination National Origin Color Charge Fiscal Year Institution Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Banks, T. L. (2000). Colorism: A darker shade of pale. UCLA Law Review, 47(6), 1705–1746.Google Scholar
  2. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. (2003). EEOC settles color harassment lawsuit with Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  3. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. (2006). EEOC v. Jax Inn’s/Spindrifter Hotel, No. 3:04-cv-978-J-16-MMH (M.D. Fla. April 2006). Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  4. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. (2007). EEOC to launch E-RACE initiative at commission meeting Wednesday. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  5. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. (2010). Charge statistics FY 1997 through FY 2010. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  6. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. (2011a). Enforcement and litigation statistics. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  7. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. (2011b). Facts about race/color discrimination. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  8. Glenn, E. N. (2009). Shades of difference: Why skin color matters. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Goldsmith, A. H., Hamilton, D., & Darity, W., Jr. (2006). Shades of discrimination: Skin tone and wages. American Economic Review, 96(2), 242–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goldsmith, A. H., Hamilton, D., & Darity, W., Jr. (2007). From dark to light: Skin color and wages among African-Americans. Journal of Human Resources, 42(4), 701–738.Google Scholar
  11. Hall, R. E. (ed.) (2008). Racism in the 21st century: An empirical analysis of skin color. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Hersch, J. (2006). Skin tone effects among African Americans: Perceptions and reality. American Economic Review, 96(2), 251–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hersch, J. (2008). Profiling the new immigrant worker: The effects of skin color and height. Journal of Labor Economics, 26(2), 345–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hersch, J. (2011). The persistence of skin color discrimination for immigrants. Social Science Research, 40(5), 1337–1349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones, T. (2000). Shades of brown: The law of skin color. Duke Law Journal, 49(6), 1487–1557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jones, T. (2010). Intra-group preferencing: Proving skin color and identity performance discrimination. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 34(4), 657–707.Google Scholar
  17. Nance, C. E. (2005). Colorable claims: The continuing significance of color under Title VII forty years after its passage. Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 26(2), 435–474.Google Scholar
  18. US Census Bureau. (2008). National population projections methodology summary document. Accessed 20 June 2012.
  19. US Census Bureau. (2010). State & county quickfacts. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  20. US Census Bureau. (2011). 2010 census shows America’s diversity. For immediate release. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  21. US Department of Labor. (2010a). Bureau of Labor Statistics. The distribution of employment by industry is reported in establishment data, Table B1. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  22. US Department of Labor. (2010b). Bureau of Labor Statistics. The distribution of private sector employment by firm size. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  23. US Department of Labor. (2011). Bureau of Labor Statistics. Current population survey. Accessed 12 Nov 2011.
  24. Walker v. Secretary of Treasury of IRS, 713F. Supp. 403 (N.D. Ga. 1989) [Walker v. Secretary of Treasury of IRS, 742 Supp. 670 (N.D. Ga. 1990), aff’d 953F.2d 650 (11th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 506 US 853 (1992), rehearing denied, 506 US 1072 (1993)].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt University Law SchoolNashvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations